Rules and Regulations
The Town’s rules and regulations are applicable to all STR properties whether managed privately or by property management companies and/or the owners. It is the responsibility of the rental owner to abide by the following rules and educate renters:
A copy of the island’s rules and regulations must be provided to each rental guest and a copy of the rules and regulations must be posted in a visible location within each rental unit. Rental owners/agencies may develop their own format of the rules to be posted in the units or may use the Town’s rules and regulations flyer.
The owner (or authorized agent) who does not reside within the Charleston Metro Area must identify an individual(s) to serve as a local contact and be authorized and able to respond to emergency conditions or complaints affecting the property and to inquiries from all entities.
You must have a 24-hour contact phone number posted in a visible location within each unit. The local contact must be present within the Charleston Metro Area and be available to respond within two hours after being notified of an emergency by a guest or by a Town employee during any 24-hour period. If there is a change to a local contact, you must provide updated information to the Town of Kiawah Island Business License Department in writing within three business days.
The maximum occupancy for all short-term rental properties is two occupants per code-compliant bedroom. Two additional occupants are allowed per dwelling unit. For example, a four-bedroom rental property shall have a maximum of ten occupants. Children under the age of 2 are not included in calculating maximum occupancy.
The number of bedrooms for determining occupancy is based on Charleston County Property Tax records. If an applicant seeks to claim more bedrooms than shown on Charleston County records, the owner or agent must contact the Town’s code enforcement office for review and determination prior to renting. Temporary conversion of rooms such as dining rooms, living rooms, studies, etc., for use as bedrooms for rental purposes, is not permitted.
Parking and Driveways
The maximum number of vehicles permitted for overnight parking for each single-family dwelling unit must be in accordance with the number of parking spaces as defined on the rental application. Vehicles may only be parked on permanent paved or gravel parking surfaces. Parking on grass or landscaped areas is prohibited at all times. Vehicles must be parked in a manner that permits the passage of emergency vehicles. Overnight parking in driveways must allow emergency vehicles within 25 feet of the residence.
If a garage is considered in the number of parking spots on the application then access must be provided at all times that the rental is operational. Parking for villa units must be in the villa complex.
Pickups greater than a one-half ton, and cargo vans greater than 12 passengers, recreation vehicles (RVs), buses, trailers, boats, and other large vehicles are prohibited from parking overnight islandwide. Vehicles can not be used for sleeping or overnight accommodations. Properties must comply with St. Johns Fire District requirements and applicable Architectural Review Board regulations for residential zoning districts (R-1, R-2, and R-3) which require that driveway clearance for fire trucks be a minimum of ten feet wide for straight drives and have a height clearance of 13.6 feet.
Rentals must be subscribed to back-door trash collection two times per week, including recycling service. Trash receptacles must be stored in an enclosed garage or approved screened enclosure whereby the receptacles are not visible from the street. Villas must use provided dumpsters for trash disposal. Dumpster pick-up service must be sufficiently frequent to avoid trash overflow. Dumpsters must be stored on an approved screened pad.
Storage of Personal Items
No clothing or towels are permitted to be draped over deck railings. Bicycles and beach gear and other personal items must be stored in a garage or enclosure and not visible from the street side or adjoining properties or left in a driveway, yard, or parking lot. Villa complexes must provide adequate bicycle racks for overnight bicycle storage. All other gear shall be stored indoors or in provided storage closets.
Outdoor lighting for all other dwellings shall be turned off from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
From May 15 – October 31, all outdoor lighting, facing seaward in beachfront units must be turned off from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Any of the following will be considered a violation of the Town’s short term rental ordinance.
1) Operation of a rental property without complying with the requirements and the Town code of ordinances;
2) Misrepresentation on a short-term rental business license application;
3) Advertisement of a property as being available as a rental without first complying with the requirements of the Town’s ordinance excluding properties exempt from these provisions of the rental program not exceeding 14 calendar days on an annual basis;
4) Expansion of allowable occupancy or parking of a rental unit without obtaining a new license;
5) Advertisement of a rental property as being available for more overnight occupants than have been permitted in the ordinance;
6) Advertisement or rental of separate guest or pool houses as an independent rental unit. Such units can be included under a rental business license issued to a single address, but it cannot be rented as a stand-alone unit;
7) Rental of only a portion or individual rooms of a property, to include detached homes, villas, cottages, and any other property. No rental business license will be issued unless the property is to be rented in its entirety. Owners are permitted to lock off closets or bedrooms from guest access;
8) Operation of a commercial business in an STR property. Examples include, but are not limited to catering, telemarketing, or distribution of goods; and
9) Pruning or otherwise altering vegetation and dunes without the required permits from the Town or other applicable jurisdiction (Kiawah Island Community Association, or the Kiawah Island Architectural Review Board).